The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 3, 2014

W.B. Johnston Grain is being sold to Louisiana company

ENID, Okla. — The oldest and largest privately owned grain company in the state, W.B. Johnston Grain, is being sold to a Louisiana company.

Johnston entered into a letter of intent to sell its grain company and related business to CGB Enterprises, a grain and transport business based in Covington, La.

The transaction is expected to close within 35 to 40 days, according to a press release from the companies announcing the sale.

“We are looking forward to being a part of the CGB team,” said Johnston CEO Butch Meibergen said. “WBJ prides itself in providing producers with services they need, and we look forward to offering even more resources in the future through CGB’s global network.”

“This exciting combination brings together the forward thinking regional leadership and 120-year history of WBJ with the entrepreneurial CGB expertise and infrastructure,” WBJ President Joey Meibergen said, “thereby strengthening the position of the company and ultimately resulting in greater efficiencies and a higher level of service for the WBJ customer base.

“Butch and I look forward to joining the CGB team and achieving our growth goals together.”

WBJ operates 19 grain elevators throughout Oklahoma and Texas, including two grain terminals, an 18 million-bushel rail terminal in Enid and a 2 million-bushel rail shipper/receiver facility in Shattuck.

“We are excited about the WBJ group of businesses and employees joining the CGB team,” said CGB President & CEO Kevin Adams. “The Meibergen family has successfully grown and nurtured the WBJ business over its long history and we believe they complement our growing CGB group of businesses.

“Our staff plans to work closely with WBJ’s customers, suppliers and employees to make the integration process as seamless as possible.”

CGB has 74 grain elevators across the Midwest and provides services for producers and manufacturing industries. The company’s activities include grain handling and merchandising, soybean processing, crop insurance, fertilizer, agri-finance, feed ingredients, bulk handling and stevedoring, and transportation and logistic services.

Also, Bruce Oakley Inc. announced Monday it has signed a definitive agreement to purchase Johnston’s Port 33, a wholly owned subsidiary of W.B. Johnston Grain.

The companies expect to close the sale on or about Feb. 8. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Johnston’s Port 33 was founded by Lew Meibergen in the early 1980s. Meibergen, along with his son Butch and grandson Joey, have expanded the company’s scope and size of business tremendously over the years to include storage and handling of dry bulk commodities such as fertilizer, pig iron, coal and petroleum products.

JP33 operates four ports, two owned and two managed, on the Arkansas and Lower Mississippi rivers.

Johnston has gained a strong reputation for its efficient port operations and management, including its general manager, Steve Taylor, and his family members Fred, Larry and Josh, all of whom will be remaining with the business, according to a press release from the companies. Lew Meibergen will remain as consultant.

Bruce Oakley was founded by Bruce Oakley in 1968 in El Paso, Ark. The company is headquartered in North Little Rock.

Bruce Oakley, led by Dennis Oakley and his family, has grown the company into a diversified bulk commodity sales and transportation company serving customers domestically and abroad.

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